Surface chemistry and morphology of the solid electrolyte interphase on silicon nanowire lithium-ion battery anodes

Candace K. Chan, Riccardo Ruffo, Seung Sae Hong, Yi Cui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

410 Citations (Scopus)


Silicon nanowires (SiNWs) have the potential to perform as anodes for lithium-ion batteries with a much higher energy density than graphite. However, there has been little work in understanding the surface chemistry of the solid electrolyte interphase (SEI) formed on silicon due to the reduction of the electrolyte. Given that a good, passivating SEI layer plays such a crucial role in graphite anodes, we have characterized the surface composition and morphology of the SEI formed on the SiNWs using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). We have found that the SEI is composed of reduction products similar to that found on graphite electrodes, with Li2CO3 as an important component. Combined with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, the results were used to determine the optimal cycling parameters for good cycling. The role of the native SiO2 as well as the effect of the surface area of the SiNWs on reactivity with the electrolyte were also addressed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1132-1140
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2009



  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Silicon nanowire
  • Solid electrolyte interphase
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

Cite this